Jones Beach drowning hoaxster Raymond Roth has committed himself to a psychiatric hospital, and his lawyer tells the Voice it’s not just his latest attempt to scam the system.
Additionally, attorney Brian Davis says Roth plans to turn himself into police early next week — after he’s “better.”
“We have an agreement to that effect,” Davis says of his client’s agreement with authorities.
Roth is expected to face charges for an alleged insurance fraud scam, in which he faked his own drowning off the coast of Long Island but then turned up in South Carolina — and that was only after spending a few days at a resort in Florida, all as investigators were scouring the ocean in a rescue effort that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
“He went in voluntarily but he’s now being held involuntarily,” Davis says of Roth’s commitment. “He’s a danger to himself.”
We asked Davis if checking himself into a psych center was just the alleged fraudster’s attempt to setup some sort of insanity defense for a potential trial. He says his client’s mental state is fragile, as evident from his hair-brained attempt to fake his own death.
“He took his own car [after claiming to drown],” Davis says. “[An insanity] defense is only used in very extreme cases. He wasn’t thinking rationally throughout all of this.”
Davis says he expects Roth — who is yet to be charged — will face charges similar to those against his son, who was arrested earlier this week for allegedly helping his old man fake his own death.
Jonathan Roth, Roth’s 22-year-old son, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy and falsely reporting an incident.
According to an affidated filed by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, “[Jonathan Roth] stated … that he saw his father walk into the ocean and walk in chest high. The defendant was present when a massive search of the waters and area was conducted.”
Prosecutors added that “The defendant at all times was fully aware that his father never walked into the water and had in fact driven off in his personal vehicle.”
Again, Roth will supposedly turn himself into police early next week — after a few days in a psych center (ahem) miraculously cures him of his being a threat to himself (read: lays the groundwork for his upcoming defense).
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 9, 2012